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What do you think will be Ted Kennedy’s legacy?

Asked at The Kansas Union, 1301 Jayhawk Blvd. on August 27, 2009

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Photo of Alfred Horstman

“Fighting for health care, immigration reform … and in the back of my mind, Chappaquiddick.”

Photo of Emily Fredrickson

“I think he will be remembered not so much for what he did in the Senate, but for driving off the bridge in Chappaquiddick.”

Photo of Keith Lake

“His legacy will be his adoption of the Meals on Wheels program.”

Photo of Freda Herrington

“I think it will be a public option for health care.”

Comments

Christine Anderson 4 years, 7 months ago

What a lot of you have already said. Oh hell, it's fun to repeat. Wine, women, more wine, more women, a song here and there, fat drunken pig, sexual harrassment artist, cover-up artist. Oink, oink, belch, pay-off, pay-off, JFK and RFK wannabe. Poster boy for how to use your family name and money to get away with murder. Ok, just to be fair, I have heard a lot of people in my parent's generation say all the Kennedy men were accomplished cheaters, so I guess he did match his brothers in that aspect, eh?

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Stain 4 years, 7 months ago

He always stood up for the common man.

It is rare these days to find a wealthy person who will do that.

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laughingatallofu 4 years, 7 months ago

ralphralph (Anonymous) says…

Sloppy drunk, date-killer. <<<<<<<

Can't wait to read what they say about you, ralphralph

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couranna1 4 years, 7 months ago

Informed you are a loser and a liar Traditionally in this contry most who are involved in a drunk driving death do NOT go to jail Look it up It wasn't until the last few years that it started True money can get it easier but you can blame conservative fu^%s like yourself for that Kennedy will be remembered for doing more than ANY other senator Case closed no debate or stupid retort from you is necessary Moron

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puddleglum 4 years, 7 months ago

i was there in moscow too....I couldn't find a date, so i was looking for a russian bride.com sort of thing. didn't work, as most girls there has real bad bone structure. thats why I ended up with another website

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Mixolydian 4 years, 7 months ago

True story. I was in Moscow during the winter of 86. I was coming out of one of those westerners only stores when I, literally, ran chest to chest into Ted Kennedy coming into the store...the absolute last person I would ever expect to see there. I was so stunned I didn't say a word, he looked at me like I was crazy and walked on by.

I'm still kinda wierded out by it after all these years.

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Tom Shewmon 4 years, 7 months ago

There's a ton of late night comedy fodder with Kennedy, I guess that's all over now. And they can't make fun of The Anointed One, so they still use the old stand-bys: Bush, Cheney and Palin and once in awhile The Clintons.

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Flap Doodle 4 years, 7 months ago

"Picking his way through the Soviet archives that Boris Yeltsin had just thrown open, in 1991 Tim Sebastian, a reporter for the London Times, came across an arresting memorandum. Composed in 1983 by Victor Chebrikov, the top man at the KGB, the memorandum was addressed to Yuri Andropov, the top man in the entire USSR. The subject: Sen. Edward Kennedy. "On 9-10 May of this year," the May 14 memorandum explained, "Sen. Edward Kennedy's close friend and trusted confidant [John] Tunney was in Moscow." (Tunney was Kennedy's law school roommate and a former Democratic senator from California.) "The senator charged Tunney to convey the following message, through confidential contacts, to the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Y. Andropov." Kennedy's message was simple. He proposed an unabashed quid pro quo. Kennedy would lend Andropov a hand in dealing with President Reagan. In return, the Soviet leader would lend the Democratic Party a hand in challenging Reagan in the 1984 presidential election. "The only real potential threats to Reagan are problems of war and peace and Soviet-American relations," the memorandum stated. "These issues, according to the senator, will without a doubt become the most important of the election campaign." http://www.forbes.com/2009/08/27/ted-kennedy-soviet-union-ronald-reagan-opinions-columnists-peter-robinson.html

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Mixolydian 4 years, 7 months ago

Many thought Leon Klinghoffer invented this drink.

Nope, Ted Kennedy did. Years earlier. 1969 in fact, 2 days prior to the moon landing.

Two shots and a splash.

What?

Too soon?

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jayhawklawrence 4 years, 7 months ago

You can be human and at the same time great.

We loved him, then hated him, then loved him again.

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Newell_Post 4 years, 7 months ago

I remember going to a Halloween costume party after the Chappaquiddick incident. One couple came as Ted Kennedy and Mary Jo Kopechne. She came in covered in (fake) blood. He came in soaking wet, covered in seaweed, and carrying a car door over his shoulder. I don't know if that should be Teddy's legacy, but it was the all-time best Halloween costume I have ever seen.

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jimjones 4 years, 7 months ago

That he got kicked out of college after being caught cheating. That after two years in the Army, he was still a private. That he was a sloven pig and a drunken womanizer. He lived 77 yrs.; Mary Jo Kopechne only lived 28. That he didn't accomplish much for being in the Senate 47 yrs. That the world is better off w/o him.

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KS 4 years, 7 months ago

Not to worry about any bridge until you get to it! It's going to be okay, Mary Jo.

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Lacy Mohler 4 years, 7 months ago

Good drinker, bad driver, poor swimmer.

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Damian666 4 years, 7 months ago

He sold his soul; it time to pay up.

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JackRipper 4 years, 7 months ago

Term limits just seem like a really good idea.

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none2 4 years, 7 months ago

debengstrom (Deb Engstrom) says…

Maybe he did use his wealth to get out of a situation. So what! Mary Jo would not be any less dead if he had gone to prison. To his credit, he went on to do a lot of good things for a lot of people through his diligent work in the senate. He will be very difficult to replace.

It is good that we see the real attitudes of some people in this town exposed here. It is nice to know that you feel that the ends justify the means.

The fact is he wasn't the Lion of the Senate. A better description would be to call him the Teflon Senator.

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demonfury 4 years, 7 months ago

nverlost says: A drunk, a liar and a murderer.

Sums it right up. And for the post who says it will be hard to replace him, you are wrong, it will be rather easy to replace him. Every Democrap in Massachusetts is lobbying for his seat to stay with a Democrap in order to preserve the 60 vote majority. They don't even care who gets it so long as it's a Democrap. That's how easy it will be to replace him. When you see his grave stone in Arlington, which by the way is a monumental tragedy in itself, just remember that the dash line between 1932 and 2009 sums up this drunk, liar, and murderer's entire pathetic life. Good riddance to another dead Kennedy, they were ALL corrupt, and you ALL know it, don't pretend like you don't.

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nverlost 4 years, 7 months ago

A drunk, a liar and a murderer.

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JackRipper 4 years, 7 months ago

As just an other privileged person who was generous doling out other people's money and that some how made him a hero and being able to walk away from a drowning woman and people actually feel bad that the worse thing to come from that was not becoming president. Wow, it is amazing what people who idol worship will overlook thinking they some how know the person in a personal sense. Shall we say "cult of personality"?

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couranna1 4 years, 7 months ago

ralphralph, nancyboy, monkeypunk Kennedy did more for this country on Tuesday {pick any} than you have done in your sorry lives get a clue you POSs buenavista how stupid are you apparently plenty loser

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BuenaVista 4 years, 7 months ago

snap,

LIberals like their leaders morally weak and highly corruptable. Ted was a pig in every sense of the word.

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beatrice 4 years, 7 months ago

Conservative, outspoken against alcohol and drugs, long hair, loud guitar, likes to go hunting and really really likes his guns.

Ted Kennedy!? Oh, I thought you said Ted Nugent.

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Flap Doodle 4 years, 7 months ago

"Brasserie I: In December 1985, just before he announced he would run for president in 1988, Kennedy allegedly manhandled a pretty young woman employed as a Brasserie waitress. The woman, Carla Gaviglio, declined to be quoted in this article, but says the following account, a similar version of which first appeared in Penthouse last year, is full and accurate:

It is after midnight and Kennedy and Dodd are just finishing up a long dinner in a private room on the first floor of the restaurant’s annex. They are drunk. Their dates, two very young blondes, leave the table to go to the bathroom. (The dates are drunk too. “They’d always get their girls very, very drunk,” says a former Brasserie waitress.) Betty Loh, who served the foursome, also leaves the room. Raymond Campet, the co-owner of La Brasserie, tells Gaviglio the senators want to see her.

As Gaviglio enters the room, the six-foot-two, 225-plus-pound Kennedy grabs the five-foot-three, 103-pound waitress and throws her on the table. She lands on her back, scattering crystal, plates and cutlery and the lit candles. Several glasses and a crystal candlestick are broken. Kennedy then picks her up from the table and throws her on Dodd, who is sprawled in a chair. With Gaviglio on Dodd’s lap, Kennedy jumps on top and begins rubbing his genital area against hers, supporting his weight on the arms of the chair. As he is doing this, Loh enters the room. She and Gaviglio both scream, drawing one or two dishwashers. Startled, Kennedy leaps up. He laughs. Bruised, shaken and angry over what she considered a sexual assault, Gaviglio runs from the room. Kennedy, Dodd and their dates leave shortly thereafter, following a friendly argument between the senators over the check.

Eyewitness Betty Loh told me that Kennedy had “three or four” cocktails in his first half hour at the restaurant and wine with dinner. When she walked into the room after Gaviglio had gone in, she says, “what I saw was Senator Kennedy on top of Carla, who was on top of Senator Dodd’s lap, and the tablecloth was sort of slid off the table ‘cause the table was knocked over—not completely, but just on Senator Dodd’s lap a little bit, and of course the glasses and the candlesticks were totally spilled and everything. And right when I walked in, Senator Kelly jumped off…and he leaped up, composed himself and got up. And Carla jumped up and ran out of the room.”" Lots more at: http://men.style.com/gq/features/full?id=content_5585&pageNum=1

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farfle 4 years, 7 months ago

He was a US Senator his entire adult life, and not of his own merits. I think he will be viewed as an oddity in that he was treated as a sort of American royalty. Hopefully it will end with him.

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Richard Payton 4 years, 7 months ago

His legacy is the Saturday Night Live skit where somebody plays Senator Kennedy as he sits silent on the Monica L. (sexual sandal) committee. Remember Senator Kennedy's nephew that sexual assaulted some female at a party where Senator Kennedy was partying (so say the media).

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Deb Engstrom 4 years, 7 months ago

Maybe he did use his wealth to get out of a situation. So what! Mary Jo would not be any less dead if he had gone to prison. To his credit, he went on to do a lot of good things for a lot of people through his diligent work in the senate. He will be very difficult to replace.

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driedoregano 4 years, 7 months ago

One of the best senators in history had to suffer through 8 years of Bush / Cheney.

it killed him.

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jumpin_catfish 4 years, 7 months ago

How rich scam bags get away with crimes the rest of us would do hard time for or at the very least lose our reputation and standing in society.

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ksdivakat 4 years, 7 months ago

Chappaquiddick! And I wasnt even born then.

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Flap Doodle 4 years, 7 months ago

He was also a NIMBY on the question of putting a wind farm in view of his compound.

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none2 4 years, 7 months ago

Irish (Irish Swearingen) says…

it is way past time to forgive and forget. What does it accomplish when you believe that no matter how much good someone does, it is the bad thing they once did that will always be remembered? It certainly does not encourage those who have paid their debt to society in jail or in prison to get a job and turn their lives around. What happened that night does not matter now. What matters is the immense good that Senator Kennedy accomplished. ============================ Obviously, for a Catholic, you do not consider life precious.

Yes, it was 40 years and about one month ago. The issue isn't just that a Mary Jo died, but the dealings that surround the incident. Sure people stupidly get drunk. People stupidly can drive a car off the road. People can stupidly die or kill others from those behaviors. However, how many people do you know wouldn't call the police until the next day? How many people do you know would just give up on saving a life of someone who was trapped under only about 4 feet of water? If my stupid driving actions resulted in such a crash, I'd have the compassion and feeling of obligation to get help and come back and stay there until she was either saved or her body recovered. Keep in mind also that he was 37 years old -- not 17. He was old enough to know better. Would he have given up if it was one of his two sons or his daughter under 4 feet of water?

It is very easy for you and the others that want to dismiss this to just say "bad choice" or "bad thing". Well that "bad choice" victim was a human being with a name! Mary Jo was the only child of Joseph & Gwen Kopechne. So why don't you start addressing her by her name? At least have the dignity to that instead of objectifying her as just part of a "bad thing"?

Yes I believe that every human soul is capable of redemption. I do not believe in pre-destination. Nevertheless, part of redemption is repentance. Part of repentance is confession of your mistakes and an effort to correct them. He was already a US senator, so he had everything to loose. So I understand why he didn't want to reveal everything. It is hard to give up power and prestige when you have it. He got off with a 2 month suspended sentence.

If you truly believe that people can do whatever they want without consequences because those consequences might interfere with their ability to do great things in the future, then lets simply close down all jails and get rid of judges. Those criminals in jail shouldn't have to pay a debt to society as some of them were meant to do great things in the future.

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ljreader 4 years, 7 months ago

Yeah, and he's going to keep doing "good things" for people from the grave- A 50 yr dynasty isn't enough. Too bad the 77 year olds who will fall victim to his nationalized health care scheme (aka no illegal alien left behind) won't enjoy the same stellar medical treatment that His Royalty received during his last months.

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blue73harley 4 years, 7 months ago

"What happened that night does not matter now."

I bet a few million people would disagree.

And what Informed said.

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Norma Jeane Baker 4 years, 7 months ago

Except, Irish, Kennedy never served time in jail or prison. He got away with killing someone. It's about money. Those who have it, lots of it, will always be able to avoid justice.

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Leslie Swearingen 4 years, 7 months ago

it is way past time to forgive and forget. What does it accomplish when you believe that no matter how much good someone does, it is the bad thing they once did that will always be remembered? It certainly does not encourage those who have paid their debt to society in jail or in prison to get a job and turn their lives around. What happened that night does not matter now. What matters is the immense good that Senator Kennedy accomplished.

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demonfury 4 years, 7 months ago

Eventually, that he's just another dead Kennedy.......

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nixon00 4 years, 7 months ago

Sure he did some great things while in Senate...that's what he was being paid to do. However, he was a drunk who killed someones child when he made the choice to drive off a bridge, and justice was never seen.

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Tom Shewmon 4 years, 7 months ago

You know, of all the footage I have seen since yesterday am, not one picture was of Teddy wearing the infamous neck brace. Maybe someone did show it, but I didn't catch it and I scanned across all three major three or four cablers off and on throughout the day and last night.

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grammaddy 4 years, 7 months ago

"Few are those who move on from the bad choices they've made in their own lives, to making other's lives better." Ted was one of those. If you are a woman in collegiate sports, thank him. If you receive Meals on Wheels, thank him. He was one of only 23 who voted against the war in Iraq,thank him. The list goes on and on. Thank you Senator Kennedy for all you have done to make the lives of the "little man" a little better. You are sorely missed.

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Matt Warman 4 years, 7 months ago

BigPrune............. you nailed it. Nuff said

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BuenaVista 4 years, 7 months ago

You could also see him as man who “worked for poor” yet was born and died with extreme wealth. Wealth acquired by questionable means. Really he was just another over privileged self serving prick.

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BABBOY 4 years, 7 months ago

There goes BigPrune showing what class act he is or more accurately is not.

His post to day is an excellent example of why no one should take any of his blogs or ideas seriously.

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The_Original_Bob 4 years, 7 months ago

"Is the Kennedy woman who used to be on VH1 looking for a new gig? The voters in MA would probably put her into the Senate without a second thought." Snap

She's a Republican.

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ljreader 4 years, 7 months ago

The Dems are exploiting the death of Kennedy to push their healthcare agenda "in his honor". Who didn't see that coming?

They'll pull that rabbit out of their hats again when they try to shove another amnesty for illegal aliens down our throats. In my mind, his legacy is the 7 amnesties he pushed through during his tenure and the debt and damage it has done to this country. A gift that keeps on giving. He promised the 1986 amnesty would be the last and that our borders would be secured and that workplace laws would be enforced. 6 amnesties after that one none of the above occurred. Do they mean by "lion" to say "lyin"?

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BuenaVista 4 years, 7 months ago

The difference is liberals get rich and stay rich as bureaucrats. They see it as great business where you can set your revenue by taxing people while providing no goods or services only lofty rhetoric.

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Kirk Larson 4 years, 7 months ago

To quote Bob Dole, "He was the hardest working Senator I ever met."

He genuinely cared about public service while being rich enough that he didn't have to. There's a big difference there between Liberals and conservatives: when cons are rich, they don't care about anyone but themselves.

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driedoregano 4 years, 7 months ago

carried the name into the 21st century.

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Ronda Miller 4 years, 7 months ago

He will be remembered for being able to accomplish more in the Senate than as President. He will be remembered for being a strong enough man to not only carry on after the huge losses he suffered, but that he rose to the occasion and became a Father figure not only in the lives of his nieces and nephews, but set a high standard of what it is to be a Father, a brother, a leader, a man, for the entire world.

The Kennedy family have always rocked and always will. What an incredible legacy!

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Flap Doodle 4 years, 7 months ago

Is the Kennedy woman who used to be on VH1 looking for a new gig? The voters in MA would probably put her into the Senate without a second thought.

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consumer1 4 years, 7 months ago

He was the Presidents Unruley brother.

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Amy Heeter 4 years, 7 months ago

That Ted couldn't remember the night Mary Jo died, but he remembered a window was open on the beach a year after the incident in the William Kenedy Smith trial.

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Flap Doodle 4 years, 7 months ago

His attempt to maintain his Senate seat as a fiefdom by lobbying the Mass. legislature to give the governor back the power to appoint his successor. When Romney was governor, Kennedy got the legislature to pass a law requiring a special election. Now that Mass. has the right sort of governor, Kennedy thought that it was okay to take the public out of the process again.

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BigPrune 4 years, 7 months ago

He will be remembered as the drunken brother of two influential Americans who were both cut down by assassins and that he could never live up to their legacy or legitimacy, and he will be remembered for getting off from killing the girl at Chappaquiddick.

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blue73harley 4 years, 7 months ago

No one in my generation will ever forget Mary Jo.

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grammaddy 4 years, 7 months ago

I,too, hope it will be a public option for health care. This is the one thing he cared about most.

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